Persicaria orientalis (L.) Spach, Hist. Nat. Vég. 10: 537 1841. (syn: Amblygonum orientale (L.) Nakai; Amblygonum orientale var. pilosum (Roxb. ex Meisn.) Nakai; Amblygonum orientale var. pilosum (Roxb. ex Meisn.) Nakai ex T. Mori; Amblygonum pilosum (Roxb. ex Meisn.) Nakai; Goniaticum solitarium Stokes; Heptarina orientalis (L.) Raf.; Lagunea cochinchinensis Lour.; Lagunea orientalis (L.) Nakai; Lagunea orientalis var. pilosa (Roxb. ex Meisn.) Nakai; Persicaria cochinchinensis (Lour.) Kitag.; Persicaria orientalis Vilmorin; Persicaria pilosa (Roxb. ex Meisn.) Kitag.; Persicaria tibetica Rendle; Polygonum amoenum Blume; Polygonum cochinchinense (Lour.) Meisn.; Polygonum cordobense Lindau; Polygonum orientale L.; Polygonum orientale var. discolor Benth.; Polygonum orientale var. pilosum (Roxb. ex Meisn.) Meisn.; Polygonum pilosum Roxb. ex Meisn.; Polygonum torquatum Bruijn);
India to Russian Far East and N. & E. Australia: Amur, Assam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Hainan, India, Japan, Jawa, Khabarovsk, Korea, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Manchuria, Myanmar, New Guinea, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Philippines, Primorye, Queensland, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, West Himalaya as per POWO;
Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, Prince’s-feather, Princess-feather; Beng: Bara pani mirch; 


wild herb ID :: 24-Mar-12 :: Hooghly (WB) SK:   

This is a wild herb found beside a pond. It is very common near waterbody like marshes, low land, ponds etc. I think it likes damp/moist soil. Leaves of this plant have darker patch on the base of the blade.

Species : UNKNOWN

Habit & Habitat : wild herb, about 2.5 ft height

Date : 23/03/2012, 4.00 p.m.

Place : Hooghly (WB)

It is very common here, in marshes, around ponds, uncultivated low land etc. but none could even tell me its local name.

I agree with … view. Tubular ochrea with leaf like wings are suggesting this to be Persicaria orientalis (L.) Spach
Family: Polygonaceae.
A link for your kind perusal: 

Using the keys provided by you and … Sir, now i find that the Bengali name given for this plant in “Plant Groups” is PANI-MARICH.

But Pani-Marich is generally referred to Persicaria hydropiper because of the peppery taste of its leaf.

I copy here the following entries from the book “Plant Groups” (by H. Mukherji; pub. New Central Book Agency Pvt. Ltd.; 2005), vide page no. 1106 –
Polygonum barbatum L.
B. (Bengali name) BEKHUNJUBAZ
Polygonum hydropiper L.
E. Water pepper; B. PAKURMUL
Polygonum orientale L.
E. Oriental pepper; B. PANI-MARICH
(the genus Persicaria is referred as Polygonum in the same book)
However, since the English name of Persicaria hydropiper is ‘water pepper’ it would be more apt to call it PANI-MARICH as you have suggested here.

I was referring P. hydropiper in general… but many of the Polygonums contain ‘Rutin’ that makes the taste peppery. Moreover, I have never checked P. orientale for its taste. Hoping to get some more information from you.

I was thinking of tasting a bit of its leaf too but was afraid of doing so…. 🙂
Now, this email from you gives me green signal to go ahead. I hope i would be able to inform you the result by tomorrow evening.

Looking at the leaves I was also to suggest P. orientale which I had photographed from Kashmir, but held back as I could see slightly different (may be being younger) inflorescence. Any way thanks for confirming.

Isn’t this the plant … from which the young leaves are eaten raw in salads in Japan??/
… do you know?/
I vaguely remember that japanese carried seeds of one of the polygonums to all parts of the world where they went to serve as salad green…

…, I think you too are talking about Persicaria hydropiper.
Pl check the link and let me know if it is the same plant you are talking about.

I heave never heard/seen that it or some other species of the same genus could be taken as salad, very interesting! I am certainly going to munch bits of leaves by tomorrow morning.

but since i last wrote a few hours ago.. I had chance to look up my notes and it was Japanese knotweed or Polygonum cuspidatum mainly… that the young shoots and leaves were eaten by folks as part of green salad… of course there were some p. hydropiper present in some isolated spots….

There is no ‘pepper’ in Persicaria orientalis (L.) leaves, at least, in this season of the year.
I have tasted bits of leaves from three plants, each leaf being of different stage of maturity. All are bitter tasted without a faint hint of any peppery smell.

…, be careful in future while chewing any leaf. Hoping that you have not chewed it in amount that can result in Toxicity. Here is link for Persicaria orientalis toxicity.
If you have any problem due to it, please write back to me for herbal antidotes. 

I chewed and tasted leave extract but didn’t gulp it!
The funnier part of this experiment was that my students were thinking if their sir had gone mad! Two or three of them even dared to murmur, “Sir! are you trying to work out how cows feel like while grazing?”
However, somewhere i read that cows do not like this plant for its pungent odour.

Sorry Sir, o have messed it up. The pungent smell would go to the KAALKAASUNDA (Sienna sophera), not to this one.

I tasted the leaves and also part of the stem once again, this morning, and from the same plants. NO pepper yet. On the other hand bitter taste multiplied many folds.
Species : Persicaria orientalis (L.) Spach
Habit & Habitat : wild herb, moist places, beside marsh, ditch
Date : 30-04-2012, 11.40 a.m.
Place : Hooghly, WB

Better we should not call this plant as ‘Pani-Marich’…let it be there for P. hydropiper.

Persicaria barbata (L.) H. Hara from Guwahati.:
Attaching images of what looks like Persicaria barbata (L.) H. Hara. Please validate.
Date : 19.07.2009
Location: Guwahati-11 [Dist- Kamrup(Metro)]
Family : Polygonaceae
Genus & species : Persicaria barbata (L.) H. Hara
Habitat: Grows wild on road side

I can see the ochrea with leaflike wing in your first photograph. This is Persicaria orientalis (L.) Spach.
Family: Polygonaceae.


Polygonacae Fortnight: Persicaria orientalis (L.) Spach– from Assam KD MAY06 :  3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3).
Attached images are Persicaria orientalis (L.) Spach collected from Assam.   

Thanks for sharing …! I have seen this plant in Itanagar too. Perianth color shows variation from white to Pink.

Yes …, I have photographed one with almost red colour from Srinagar, Kashmir. I will upload soon.

Polygonaceae Fortnight : 1 – 14 May 2014 : Persicaria orientalis : Pahalgam,Kashmir : 140514 : AK-5 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1).
A very beautiful ornamental plant seen in Sept,2011 in Pahalgam, Kashmir.

Most likely to be P. orientalis…but the characteristic winged ochrea are not seen.

Had posted this on our group earlier, … had suggested Persicaria orientalis, you had agreed with the id.


Polygonaceae Fortnight: Persicaria orientalis from Kashmir-GSMAY45 : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (4).
Persicaria orientalis, an ornamental tall species with large leaves and drooping pinkish-red inflorescence. Cultivated in gardens along edges.
Photographed from Iqbal garden (Hazuri bagh) Srinagar, Kashmir

Beautiful images! But cant see the characteristic winged ochrea! 🙁



Persicaria orientalis : Kashmir : 121011 : AK-4:
Picture taken on the 7th of Sept,11 at Pahalgam, Kashmir.
Is it Persicaria orientalis?

I think yes

Agreed with …! Most likely to be P. orientalis.